Tuesday, 1 December 2015


My periodic newsletter on all things employment law related that I think you should be aware of.
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Hello  chums and colleagues ,
  Well we made it through our second year of publication, thank you for sticking with me!     It is customary at the end of the year to do a round up of the years' news.  So, who am I to disappoint?    Besides,  there's nothing new this month (December)  that I haven't already covered.
          For the coming year we have the introduction of the "living wage" for over 25s in April.   We expect the issue of paid travel time to be settled, one way or another  and the inclusion of over-time and commissions to be counted in holiday pay.     I'm deliberately keeping this edition short as I know you will have much to do,       anyway,    read on for details, and, as always, call me or mail me if you have any concerns or questions about this edition's content.  

Kind regards,     Paul 


First The News:   

Newsflash:   Holiday pay to now include overtime payments and for mobile workers the first and last journey of the day to be counted as working time

In a land mark case that really hit the headlines, the EAT (Employment Appeal Tribunal) declared a judgment that holiday pay should reflect the "normal earnings" of a worker. So if a worker had regularly earned an overtime payment , this additional payment should be reflected in his holiday pay. This led to speculation that workers could claim an underpayment going back to 1998 (when the paid holiday legislation came in) and would spell ruin for many a business.  In a collective sigh of relief, we were to learn that the court also judged that any potential claims where there was a 3 month gap between occasions could not be claimed. Effectively blocking any back dated claims.  phew !    .    So,    watch this space,  as they say!
Additionally this year we heard that a European (again!) judgement, ruled that for mobile workers,   (eg plumbers, service engineers, any with a company expensed vehicle who travel to client sites to work)  should be paid for their first journey ie. home to 1st call,  and last journey, last call to home.  Up to now,  the norm is to only pay workers for when they actually start "work".  So this will have an impact on the bottom line of most companies in this sector.  However,  nothing in the ruling says that the rate of pay for this journey time has to be at the workers normal rate, as long as it's not less than the NMW.           full detailed story:  read here
My Comment :  Do remember,   the law has not changed,  these are merely landmark cases that may impact on how cases are decided in the UK.

Minimum wage went up as of 1st October   
The annual increment in national minimum wage rates went up as of this day.  The national minimum wage  increased  to £6.70, an hour the government  announced.
The new rates were implemented as of 1st October and will benefit a million workers.    Silent partner Jacob Marley said he had accepted a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission that the minimum wage should increase by 3%.It is the first time in six years that the rise will be higher than inflation. The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will go up  to £5.30 an hour, a 2% increase. The rate for those aged 16 and 17 will rise  to £3.87, also a 2% increase.  However , he rejected the proposal that Christmas Eve should also be declared a bank holiday.                   
He was, however, shocked to hear that as of next April, the "living Wage" (£7:20 hr) will be mandatory for those in work over the age of 25.
It was at this point he uttered his now well known catch phrase!

And finally tonight ! 

To all who take the time to read my offering, to those who mail in with your questions, and to all my clients and chums who bother to tell me they actually read this stuff,  and find it useful,   my heartfelt thanks !
      May  I wish you a contented and peaceful festive holiday with your families.

Merry Christmas and my very best wishes:

Paul Murray


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Health& Safety Myths

A light hearted look at some of the idiotic things we hear.

CASE 229   Vandals could sue if they hurt themselves
 A local Councillor has approached the panel with this query - We have been closing an area of the park at dusk, where the toilets and play equipment are located, because of vandalism. Some councillors have challenged this on Health and Safety grounds, as the "vandals" may get injured whilst climbing over the fence and they believe that the council would be liable.           committees eh !


CASE 237     Health & Safety brings candy floss to a sticky end!

 It has been suggested that candy floss should no longer be served on a wooden stick as this presents a potential health & safety risk !.......   (Denied by the HSE by the way!)


 As always my grateful thanks to the HSE website for their reports and items see them at:

 The information contained in these pages is an HR overview and not intended to be comprehensive legal advice, always seek specific qualified advice before taking any action that could lead to litigation.   Equally, were we have provided links to external web pages, we are not responsible for the content of other sites.

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